Peter Capaldi will be back for his final series as the twelfth Doctor this Easter and media speculation (and betting) on the new Doctor Who reminded us of our OS OpenSpace Tardis map*. We decided to add a new dimension for 2017, marking the location of the birthplaces** of the 12 actors to play the Doctor so far, as well as the 73 Tardis dotted around Britain. Would it reveal a Doctor hotspot and help identify the thirteenth Doctor?
We found that 25% of Doctors hail from Scotland with the remaining 75% being born in England – so is it time for a Welsh Doctor to hit our screens? Or will Scotland continue to attract Doctors due to the huge number of Tardis in the country?
Tomorrow night will see the much-anticipated return of Doctor Who on our TV screens, with the new Doctor played by Peter Capaldi. We’ll be pleased to see the Tardis back on our screens because of its connection to our maps. As you may know know, the real-life function of those boxes that the Tardis has adopted, was as a telephone call box connecting you to your local police station.
In the early 20th century, hundreds of police call boxes (PCBs) sat on street corners waiting to be used. As phone boxes became more common place (first the famous red design and now the more modern glass version) and then home phones and mobiles phones took over, the PCBs fell out of use.
However, many of them still exist around the country – and for those in their original locations, they are still on our mapping data. Some 203 PCBs are still marked on our maps, although only a fraction of those are recognisable as the Tardis that we still know and love today.
When The Times published a series on Britain’s best beaches, we couldn’t wait to see them all on the map. Being an island, we obviously have a lot of beaches to choose from, so if you’re planning your next holiday, this might steer you in a different direction. The Times split their recommendations into categories, including beaches for families, beaches for surfers, wild and romantic beaches, beaches for culture and beaches for natural beauty. So there should be something to suit everyone!
We read an article recently about all of the different words we use across Great Britain to talk about the humble bread roll. While bread roll is probably the most common term these days, the fact that we’re using it, could well mark us out as coming from the south of England. And we do, we’re based down in Southampton, at Ordnance Survey’s Explorer House head office. As well as being called a bread roll, others across Britain know it as the barm cake, bap, stottie or cob.
This wide range of names got us thinking about other terms that have regional variations. The English language is so rich, and there are a surprising number of dialects for such a condensed area as Great Britain. We came up with a range of words for which we could identify regional variations and set about adding them to a map.
Our Web Services offer alternative ways to access, and use, Ordnance Survey’s high-quality mapping. The services stream the latest version of data through a robust and resilient system ensuring you have the maps where you want them, when you want them; OS OpenSpace allows users to embed OS OpenData maps, plus our 1:50 000 OS Landranger Maps, into your website or mobile device for free. You can upgrade to OS OpenSpace Pro which provides access to our premium datasets as well. OS OnDemand streams the latest most detailed maps into your GIS software, browsers or mobile devices enabling your business to make the most out of our data wherever you are located.
As well as the traditional raster products, we also provide consistently-styled mapping for use in OS OpenSpace Pro and OS OnDemand. This map stack provides a smooth zoom experience and greater consistency throughout the zoom levels, and is ideal for backdrop mapping in a digital environment. The subtle colour palette means that the data you overlay will stand out and become the main focus of your map.
Today’s guest post is by Robert Murray, one of our developer team at Ordnance Survey. Last year he used OS OpenData to map some of the tweets Hampshire Constabulary sent during Operation Fortress.
Hampshire Constabulary has been running an operation to combat drug-related crime in Southampton called Operation Fortress and posted tweets relating to this operation with the hashtag #OpFortress. It was an effective method of showing progress and engaging with the public, the tweets sometimes gave advice, asked for help or reported operation updates such as arrests, raids or crimes – often with the location at which the event took place.
British Food Fortnight kicked off on 21 September, so we thought we’d join in the festivities with a British food map. There are many British foods that are associated with places around Great Britain – such as Caerphilly and Red Leicester cheeses or Cornish pasties and Lincolnshire sausages.
We decided to use OS OpenSpace, our free service allowing users to embed maps into web pages, to capture some of the foods and drinks that have names associated with places in Great Britain. You can see a preview of the map below or see it in full screen on our website:
With the tenth series of The X Factor about to start on Saturday evening, millions of people across Britain will be glued to television screens as the X Factor judges start the process of uncovering talented finalists. Here at Ordnance Survey head office, our minds inevitably turned to mapping – and we wondered where the previous X Factor finalists came from, and whether there were hotspots around the country that produce them.
So, we created a finalists map using OS OpenSpace. Anyone who made it to the final three in the last nine series makes it to the map. We’ve placed a marker in their home town (as identified by Wikipedia), in England, Scotland and Wales (the countries we map as Great Britain’s national mapping authority).
As you can see, for groups, we’re highlighting each group member. For anyone with a home town outside Great Britain, we’ll place the marker in London, home of the X Factor recording studios.
Take a look at our X Factor finalists map and see if there any finalists clustered in your area – perhaps it will inspire you to audition next year! You can search on name, category (group, girls etc), season or position.